Internationalisation of culture
A culture must develop, present and measure itself internationally. Just as most culture is created without government support, most international exchanges and cooperation take place without government intervention. This government plays a modest role as far as international cultural exchanges are concerned. It is first and foremost the responsibility of cultural organisations themselves to give their international ambitions and activities form and content. The government will facilitate this.
Dutch international cultural policy was last formulated in mid-2012 in Meer dan kwaliteit [More than quality], a policy document written by the then State Secretary for Culture and further developed in the joint document prepared by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs44. The key idea behind it is to improve links between culture, diplomacy and economy. To achieve this, four objectives have been set:
- To strengthen the international level of Dutch top cultural institutions by making targeted choices within the basic cultural infrastructure;
- To strengthen the international market position of Dutch artists and organisations;
- To strengthen the economic benefits of internationalisation of culture;
- To strengthen cultural diplomacy: to use culture as part of international relations.
a) Strengthening the international position of Dutch top institutions:
As part of the subsidy plan for 2013-2016, additional budget has been set aside for top institutions such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (USD 783,000) and Toneelgroep Amsterdam (USD 326,000).
b) Strengthening the international market position:
USD 718,000 per annum is available for international obligations (such as biennales), USD 2 million per annum for major, multi-sector activities and USD 391,000 per annum for the international cultural visitor programme. Finally, USD 2.3 million has been allocated to the funds for joint plans in the so-called focus countries.
c) Strengthening the economic aspect:
An annual sum of USD 2.9 million is available for expanding the market for the creative industries and USD 391,000 is available for expanding the market for film.
d) Cultural diplomacy: 15
Culture opens doors in foreign policy and helps to paint a positive picture of the Netherlands. This applies equally to the Dutch masters of the Golden Age and to Dutch Design. The Dutch government also attaches importance to state events from the point of view of cultural diplomacy. In recent years (2011-2013), bilateral celebrations have been held with Turkey and Russia. The Dutch Centre for International Cultural Cooperation coordinates the cultural component of the celebrations.
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are responsible for implementation. This involves a clear division of labour. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs determines the geographical strategic priorities 45, coordinates bilateral en intergovernmental celebrations and events and manages the posts abroad. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science manages the funds and supporting organisations, is responsible for sectoral cultural policy and enables organisations to develop international activities via the basic cultural infrastructure. The Ministry of Economic Affairs is also involved in specific cases, e.g. in connection with the creative industries.
In their policy, the cultural funds expressly focus attention on creating opportunities for young, promising talent, presenting proven talent at relevant international events and venues and expanding the market. In order to promote mobility, the "Transartist desk" at the new Dutch Centre for International Cultural Cooperation is receiving financial support within the basic cultural infrastructure. This desk advises organisations and artists on working in other countries and participates in EU programmes and in international networks. The amounts referred to in connection with the measures below have been set aside or made available over and above the budgets for international activities which have been allocated to the funds and the basic national infrastructure organisations.